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Intercultural Dialogue Europe



Major Challenges

Increase in immigration; right wing activities and incidents of xenophobia. 

Main Interpretations

Fostering integration by political means; awareness raising campaigns and actions, promoting ICD related civil society activities

1. General authority

The Government

Authority for all policies and implementation measures of public interest. The government runs several departments (the relevant ones to be found below), which cooperate with the respective Offices in charge of administration and implementation work. Preparing the ground on issues related to intercultural dialogue in Liechtenstein is, according to the government, also a crucial function of the three political parties in Liechtenstein, which address such issues in their programmes.


  • In 2004, the Prime Minister held two discussion rounds on the topic of ‘Integration in Liechtenstein: Status Quo, Measures, and Perspectives' with representatives of the immigrants' associations.
  • In July 2003, the Government established the ‘Violence Protection Commission', chaired by the National Police, to observe and document the situation of right-wing violence and right-wing extremism in Liechtenstein.


  • Ordinance on the Movement of Persons (PVO) of 30 November 2004, in force since 1 January 2005. Articles 77-79 PVO set out the goal and preconditions for integration and its promotion.
  • A new Integration policy paper ("Grundsatzpapier der Regierung zur liechtensteinischen Integrationspolitik") has been drafted by the Equal Opportunity Commission (see below) and was adopted by the Government in February 2007. It stipulates that all migrants should be empowered to enjoy a "comprehensive participation in the economic, social, cultural and civic life of Liechtenstein". The paper also stresses the fact that integration requires "efforts from both sides: it assumes the will and the engagement of migrants to integrate into society as well as the openness and readiness of the local population to recognise and appreciate the potential of diversity."
  • A new Foreigners Act, which will probably enter into force in the spring of 2008, will dedicate a chapter to the integration policy of Liechtenstein. Concrete measures will be drafted and implemented in a second step together with the affected persons, including migrants, municipal authorities, and employer associations.
  • The five-year National Action Plan against Racism (2003) focuses on awareness raising with regard to various forms of racism and promotes the integration of foreigners in Liechtenstein.
  • The Violence Protection Commission has been mandated by the Government to develop a strategy against right-wing extremism in Liechtenstein before the end of 2007. The strategy should draw on the expertise of other States (especially in neighbouring regions) and address the motives for the attraction of right-wing ideology to certain groups of the Liechtenstein population.

Office of Equal Opportunity

Initiated the establishment of a Task Force on Integration (2006), including representatives of the foreigners' association and the associations and working groups that deal with the topic of integration. In the same year the Government mandated a working group to elaborate legislation on the integration of foreigners.


Awareness raising campaigns, e.g. by participation in the "European Year of Equal Opportunity" (2007) and in the European campaign "all different - all equal" with various events throughout 2006.


NGO group Migration - Integration (NGO Arbeitsgruppe Integration)

Members of this NGO initiative are: Parents-Children Forum (Eltern Kind Forum), Protestant Church of the Principality of Liechtenstein, Information and Contact Point for Women (infra), NGO Justitia et Pax, Association for Intercultural Education).

EX: In July 2007, presentation of a study entitled ‘Migration and Integration: History - Problems - Perspectives', providing information on the problems and possible courses of action with regard to a better integration of persons and groups of different cultural backgrounds in Liechtenstein http://www.liechtenstein-institut.li/Portals/11/pdf/politikwissenschaft/LIAP_08_Integration_Marxer.pdf

2. Culture

Acting under the responsibility of the Government of Liechtenstein:

Department for Cultural Affairs (Stabsstelle für Kulturfragen - SKF)

EX: Financial support of the intercultural festival of the Turkish Women's Association ‘Hi Turkey - Merhaba Liechtenstein'

3. Education

Implementation body under the Department for Education of the Government:

Office for School Affairs (Schulamt)

Information about the office's services are also available in several foreign languages, e.g. Turkish and Portuguese.

Dealing with different cultures, traditions, religions, and value systems is an integral part of the curriculum in Liechtenstein schools. Each year, every school offers numerous projects on topics including tolerance, xenophobia, violence, etc.


  • Financial support of the day care centers' programme ‘yours - mine = our language', aimed at successfully introducing high German (instead of the local dialect) as a second language in day care centers in order to ease integration of children of foreign language.
  • Special training for schoolteachers to enable them to handle violence and racism in the classroom. The teachers are also provided with a collection of specific materials in the form of a didactic media library.
  • Seminar on Intercultural Communication within the Liechtenstein National Administration.

Liechtenstein University of Applied Sciences

with Children's University (Kinder-Uni)

The latter was founded in 2005 as a joint project of the Liechtenstein University with aha-Tipps und Infos für Junge Leute.

In April 2007, it started the accompanying programme for parents (Begleitprogramm - Bepo) with lectures on topics of equal opportunity, the promotion of tolerance for people of a different background, gender, religion, or with disabilities.

Association for Intercultural Education (Verein für interkulturelle Bildung - ViB)

Founded in 2001 on the initiative of the Office of Social Affairs and financed by the State, it concentrates on the integration of foreign-language speakers. Organises also the International Women's Café, presenting a platform for dialogue for native and migrant women and promoting intercultural exchange through cultural events, lectures, workshops, excursions and other activities.

EX: Project ‘Mother-Child German', a German course for the target group of foreign-language mothers with small children, which is otherwise difficult to reach, allowing small children to come along.

Foundation for Adult Education (Stiftung für Erwachsenenbildung)

4. Youth

Implementation body under the structure of the Department for Family Affairs and Equal Opportunities and of the Government:

Office for School Affairs (Schulamt)

Also in charge of Children and Youth.

EX of public action:

  • National prevention campaign ‘Respect - please' (2007), concerned with youth violence and its various manifestations and promoting mutual respect. The campaign is conducted in close cooperation with youth workers in local communities. To combat youth violence in connection with public events (e.g. carnivals) in the local communities, the Violence Projection Commission elaborated guidelines for community personnel to take charge and to set general conditions for the prevention of such forms of violence right from the beginning.
  • Provision of training programmes for sensitizing youth workers on the importance of ICD.

5. Sports

Under the structure of the Department for Sport of the Government:

Agency for Sport (Dienststelle für Sport)

Promoting easy access to sports clubs.

6. Other domestic responsibilities of importance for ICD

Working under the auspices of the Government:

Office of Social Affairs (Amt für Soziale Dienste der Landesverwaltung Liechtenstein)

Supports various foreigners' associations in implementing concrete projects through organization and facilitation work, provision of information, infrastructure, and financial assistance.

EX: In the framework of the European Year of Equal Opportunity (2007), a press campaign entitled "At Home in Liechtenstein" has been launched, which profiles foreigners and natives, aiming at a better mutual understanding between both groups.

Civil Society (EX):

European Institute on Intercultural and Interreligious Research (Europäisches Institut für interkulturelle und interreligiöse Forschung)

Preparation, implementation and evaluation of research projects in the respective fields, especially in the framework of European integration. International symposium on Competitiveness through Cultural Diversity in September 2007 ("Wettbewerbsvorteil durch kulturelle Vielfalt?").

Information and Contact Unit for Women (infra)

EX: Brochure ‘Welcome to Liechtenstein - Information for Migrants' in several languages, which is also distributed in health centres  http://www.bildung.cabanova.de/assets/download/englisch.pdf

7. Trans-border / International ICD programmes

International Academy for Philosophy (IAP) in the Principality of Liechtenstein

Regards itself as "a university that wants to make a contribution to intellectual renewal and to overcoming the mental world crisis." Its professors and students come from five continents and more than 30 different nations, including Australia, Chile, China, Ghana, Greece, India, Luxembourg and Mexico.

EX: Based mainly on philosophical and inter-religious research, the IAP has published "Peace and Inter-cultural Dialogue", edited by Prince Nikolaus von und zu Liechtenstein and Cheikh Mbacké Gueye (2005).